Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
- DAILY REVIEWS -
Valkyrius Prime Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . This is a shoot-em-up that took me by complete surprise, something that is rare for the genre. While you'll recognize a lot of the tropes and cliches, Valkyrius Prime manages to stand out thanks to some incredibly clever gameplay decisions. Let me tell you, it's going to be hard to go back to shooters that don't let me teleport around the screen. Rating: 78%
Valkyrius Prime
«
Valkyrius Prime Valkyrius Prime Valkyrius Prime Valkyrius Prime
  • Review Score:

  • B+
Although it's typical for a 2D shoot-em-up to start in the arcades and then eventually filter to the home market, I have to admit that some of my favorite shooters have been exclusive to consoles. From ThunderForce III on the Genesis to Einhander on PlayStation to Lords of Thunder rocking the TurboGrafx-CD, I've always been a big fan of companies that cater to us couch potatoes.

You can add Valkyrius Prime to the list of high-energy shoot-em-ups that skipped the arcades in favor of a home console. Iridescent's vertical shooter was originally part of the Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace, where it won over fans with its unique teleportation gimmick and old school sensibility. Now Valkyrius has been given a new lease on life, this time with better graphics and a more compelling story.


At some point in the next 966 years, humans will make first contact with aliens. But instead of this leading to a Star Trek utopia where a universe full of civilizations come together to share ideas and discoveries, our first contact leads to decades of fighting with space. Ready to finish the fight, Lieutenant Valterra has been tasked with taking the Valkyrius One into enemy territory and destroying the alien's "superweapon" once and for all.

Instead of using up their original ideas in the setup, the developers have funneled all of that creativity into the gameplay. There are some really clever mechanics at play, starting with a teleportation move that will send your ship a few spaces in any direction. This is mapped to the right analog stick (and face buttons) and becomes a major part of surviving the boss fights. This teleportation will not only help you get around bullets and lasers, but it gives the game a unique feel that I couldn't get enough of.

Valkyrius Prime (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I was also impressed with the way the game handles the weapons. Instead of firing one type of weapon at a time, your ship can carry and shoot two different types of bullets at once. The guns on the left and right of the ship are mapped to the controller's two trigger buttons, giving you a surprising amount of control over what you want to shoot. Best of all, you don't even need to hold the triggers down. This is the type of game where the weapons can fire on their own and you only need to focus on dodging enemy bullets.

If that isn't enough for you, Valkyrius Prime also includes modifiers and weapon upgrades you can buy in the shop. You earn money from posting high scores and keeping the multiplier high while shooting down aliens. This opens the game up to adding mods that will make your ship stronger or turn your teleportation into a deadly attack. You'll also be able to upgrade the bonus weapons, making them stronger and more effective. This is a cool idea, but you may find you won't need to spend much money in the shop. The game is challenging, but not so difficult that you won't be able to bust through the six stages after a few attempts.

Valkyrius Prime (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I had so much fun with the teleportation mechanic that I barely had time to notice that I was shooting a bunch of generic space ships and flying through some pretty bland locations. Don't get me wrong, the visuals are nice and I enjoyed the fast-paced music, but nothing about the levels stood out. This is one of those games where the gameplay make all the difference. That said, I would like to see a sequel that takes this concept a little further and creates more compelling stages.

This is a shoot-em-up that took me by complete surprise, something that is rare for the genre. While you'll recognize a lot of the tropes and cliches, Valkyrius Prime manages to stand out thanks to some incredibly clever gameplay decisions. Let me tell you, it's going to be hard to go back to shooters that don't let me teleport around the screen.
comments powered by Disqus